City Council votes to approve new Seattle Police Department contract

SEATTLE -- The Seattle City Council on Tuesday voted 8-1 to approve a proposed contract for Seattle police officers.

Seattle Police have been without a contract for nearly four years. A federal judge will have to sign off on because of the federal consent decree with Seattle Police against biased policing.

Kshama Sawant was the lone no vote.

While the proposed contract has faced some sharp criticism from police reform advocates, both Mayor Jenny Durkan and Chief Carmen Best said they feared the city would lose more officers if the contract wasn't passed.

Durkan said she was "very grateful to the city council" for passing the contract, which gives officers their first raise since 2014.

"We know this agreement does not roll back reforms," Durkan said.

Meanwhile other communities, like Belleuve, are offering hiring bonuses to draw officers to their departments. Last week, the Bellevue City Council approved a $16,000 hiring bonus for experienced police officers.

Just a day earlier, business owners along California Avenue in West Seattle shared their concerns over public safety and property crime.

“We need more police, particularly in our business district, we’d like to see it vibrant, thriving. The lack of police presence here just allows for disorder and we are really tired of seeing disorder in the street, shoplifting, you know,” says business owner David Montoure.

West Seattle isn’t the only neighborhood asking for more police on the streets. Community and business leaders are asking for the same in neighborhoods like Pioneer Square, SODO and Ballard.

For now, this block watch is a way for people in West Seattle to take crime prevention into their own hands.

“What we would like to see is just more community police officers here in the junction, on the streets. We know their names, they know the names of our business owners, and what that will do is it will connect people together,’ says Lora Radford of the West Seattle Junction Association.